I don’t know why people are surprised by this especially since it was already foreshadowed by TW101’s poor sales. Platinum’s games even back when they were Clover Studio have never sold well. It’s unfortunate but that’s just the way it is. They are very excellent games but are targeted at a niche hardcore audience. Add to the fact that it’s exclusive to a console that’s not selling well and has a low install base and you have a recipe for disaster.
I also don’t know why people use these numbers to make the assumption that Bayonetta was “made for the West” since the West consists of the both the American and European continents. That’s over a billion people compared to Japan’s 100+million. The population of the US is already 3 times that of Japan. If the game sold as well in Japan as it does in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and etc, of course it’s going to look like it sold poorly in Japan. Another thing people fail to take into account when comparing multiplat(XBOX and PS) sales is that Japan is primarily a 1 console country, mainly the PS platform compared to most Western countries where both the XBOX and PS platforms thrive. Also, using numbers to determine which region a game is targeted at is moot because TW101 has so many elements of Japanese morning TV programs like various sentai and tokusatsu shows(clearly targeted at the Japanese audience) but still supposedly sold less than it did in the US. A counter example to that is Dragon’s Dogma which was clearly made with a Western audience in mind yet sold much better in Japan on the PS3 than it did in the US. Even the 360 sales didn’t come close. Bayonetta was not made for any region in specific but you could tell it was made with Japanese sensibilities. While it does has some Western influences(mainly the setting), the gameplay and design is undeniably Japanese with it’s scoring system and weird over the top climatic sequences. Bayonetta herself looks to be catered more towards the otakus who love mature women in glasses. You’ll never see a Western game star a protagonist dressed or proportioned like that. The last Western game that I can remember that starred a playable main protagonist with glasses was Half Life 3 whereas you see them often in Japanese games with the latest one being Persona 5. In short, sales numbers do not represent what region a game is targeted at.
Oh and in case anybody was wondering the original Bayonetta for the XBOX360 sold lesser than 170k on it’s first week and very likely less than 150k (Source: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/118171/NPD_Bayonetta_MAG_Darksiders_Crack_January_Top_20.php)
I would be very very surprised if US sales for Bayonetta 2 matches that but it should do better than Japanese numbers since there are more Wii Us in America.
Source : http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/24/week-sales-ouch-bayonetta-2/528